MEET THE TEAM
The Swiss army knife.
SARA STILES, MS, CFP®
EXECUTIVE PLANNER, PENSION CONSULTANT
Sara earned her Bachelor's Degree in Corporate Finance & Management from Park University in 2011, and her Master's degree in Personal Financial Planning from Kansas State University in 2014. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Since 2003 Sara has gained hands-on experience in various areas such as banking, treasury management, private wealth, trust administration, intermediary investments consulting and corporate retirement plans consulting. Prior to forming Rise Sara traveled across the Midwest working closely with retirement plan advisors on large corporate retirement plans, and educating generalist financial advisors on how to introduce and manage retirement plans for their clients.
Her well-rounded background has given her unique insight into both the personal and corporate financial planning challenges of small and middle-market business owners. Sara formed Rise out of a desire to give closely-held business owners the advice they deserve, and to bring cohesiveness to their personal and business financial lives.
The tax & analysis gurus.
AMY GOODE, MBA, CPA
Amy earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Kansas State University in 1990 and earned a Master’s Degree in Management from Rockhurst College in 1995.
She began her practice of public accounting with KPMG, providing audit and tax services to clients in various industries. She has worked in various management roles for Fortune 500 companies and developed comprehensive business process improvement tools including activity based costing and balance scorecard metrics. In addition to her partnership with Rise, Amy is a Managing Partner for Meridian Business Services, a NetSuite solutions provider. She takes pride in assisting small business owners in operations, sales, and tax strategies.
She has served on the board of the Kansas Society of CPAs and has served as an instructor in a variety of capacities. Amy is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA), and the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants (KSCPA).
ERIC ALLEE, MS-TAX, CPA
Eric earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1994 and his Masters of Science in Accounting-Taxation in 2001. He has held his CPA license since 2002.
From 1996-2002 he served as Director of Finance for a national construction materials supplier. Starting in 2003 his focus has been on small business taxation and tax minimization strategies for closely-held business owners.
Eric ran his own successful CPA practice for nine years and ran a popular wine bar in Eastern Jackson County for five years. As an entrepreneur himself, he enjoys taking a proactive, consultative and strategic approach when serving his clients.
JAMES THOMPSON, MBA, CPA
James earned his Bachelor's degree in Controllership and Business Accounting from Kansas State University in 2000, and his Master's in Business Administration from Baker University in 2010. James is not a run-of-the-mill CPA bean counter. He brings a strategic element to the day-to-day management of corporate financials.
James has held executive-level accounting positions with multiple fortune 500 firms and has bought and sold multiple businesses of his own. A Kansas City native, James currently resides in the Tulsa, OK metro area with his wife and four children. In his spare time, James is highly involved in his church community.
MEGAN MERCER, AIS
Megan brings almost 20 years of experience in the insurance industry. Having spent time in multiple facets of the industry, she has built an impressive resume that allows her to truly help her clients. Megan has worked with direct carriers and as an independent agent in the insurance industry. She can help with both personal and commercial lines. She is well versed when it comes to coverages and policy language.
Megan is originally from San Angelo, Texas, but now calls Lee’s Summit home. She is active in the community as a member of Rotary, the Lee's Summit Chamber, and board member of a local non profit organization. Megan loves to travel with her husband, Curtis, and son, Liam. They enjoy evenings around the fire pit, hiking and entertaining friends. Megan is excited to share her insurance knowledge with her clients.
Brendan earned his Bachelor of Science in Financial Management from Kansas State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Bible and Leadership from Manhattan Christian College. While at Kansas State, Brendan was the Grand Prize Winner of the K-State Launch Entrepreneurial Competition. He is an Eagle Scout and enjoys serving others through volunteer work and international mission trips.
With operational and client services experience in higher education, real estate, non-profit social services, and wealth management, Brendan seeks to effectively serve our clients with an attentive, considerate, and resourceful approach.